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Published 5th Dec 2011

Tony Mowbray at the launch event with organiser Phil Douglas and dance consultant Mileva Donachie.

A dance event which delighted audiences at mima will hopefully return next year, organisers have said.

Moving Frontiers took place in November and saw a collection of local and regional professional dancers perform in mima’s atrium.

It’s thought the event was the first of its kind in Middlesbrough, blending dance performance in an art space, with the aim of raising the profile of dance and develop new talent in the area.

The setting of mima as a place for the performance was hailed a success and Moving Frontiers even had an unlikely VIP when Boro boss Tony Mowbray attended the launch night.

Tony spoke to attendees afterwards about the performance and said he “really enjoyed it”.

He said: “Maybe there’s a connection between modern dance and football looking at some of the contorted positions the dancers get in.

“Like dancers footballers have to be supple and lithe in order to get into positions to score goals.”

Phil Douglas, organiser of Moving Frontiers from Middlesbrough Council, said: “Moving Frontiers was very well received with a mixed audience of public, dance students and people from local cultural organisations.

“The concept was to create an eye-catching opportunity for regionally based professional movement artists to perform their work.”

Some dancers created work specifically for the event and one piece was a live improvisation in response to the current exhibition in mima and the space.

Phil added: “It was interesting to put movement in a visual arts space and I am really hopeful that the event will be repeated next year.”

Get in touch

Middlesbrough Council’s Arts Development Team is assessing dance activity in the town and would like to hear from any dancers – or those keen to get involved. Get in touch by email at

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